For the past several years, Ocean View has had its way with Santa Ana on the softball diamond. When the teams met Friday, it appeared that this meeting could be different than past games between the Seahawks and Saints.
This year's Santa Ana team came into the Golden West League opener with a different vibe, the result of starting the 2014 season 13-0.
In the end, no, make that after two innings, it was still Ocean View's game.
The Seahawks scored four runs in each of the first two innings and cruised the rest of the way in a 9-1 victory. Santa Ana couldn't overcome the early deficit, scoring its only run late in the game en route to its first loss.
The Seahawks, ranked second in CIF Southern Section Division 4, put the ball in play against Saints ace Celeste Hernandez who came into the matchup with a 12-0 record and ERA of 0.4. They sent 17 batters to the plate in the first two innings, getting their first eight runs on five hits and four walks, and took advantage of a few Saints fielding errors to jump out to a big lead.
By the top of the third, Ocean View (13-3) had scored three more runs than the Saints had given up in any of their first 13 games.
The Seahawks ran their win streak to seven games.
"We've pretty much had some easy wins against Santa Ana in the past, but they came into today's game playing with confidence," Ocean View Coach Mike McLaughlan said. "We knew they were better than they had been the past few years because of their pitching (Hernandez). She was having a start to the season.
"We jumped on them early. This was our only game this week, and the girls came out fired up. It was 8-0 really quick but then, we sort of went flat."
Junior pitcher Billie Derleth tamed Santa Ana. Derleth didn't give up a hit until the fourth, a lead-off single by Hernandez, and surrendered her only other hit in the top of the sixth. Marissa Gomez sent a two-out RBI single to left field to bring in the Saints' lone run.
Derleth struck out the side in the fifth and finished with 10 strikeouts. She walked four and sent the Saints down in order in the seventh to notch her seventh win in improving to 7-1.
"Billie has been on fire this year," McLaughlan said. "She pitched a really good game today and didn't give them (Santa Ana) much."
Junior shortstop Olivia Russ started an Ocean View rally in the bottom of the first with a lead-off single to left field. An out later, Tobi Salzman and Derleth drew consecutive walks to load the bases. Russ ended up scoring on Jade Bustamonte's sacrifice fly to center field. Anika Ortiz then sent a fly ball on her first pitch from Hernandez into right field. The ball dropped inside the foul line, then got past right-fielder Tiana Durette, and both Salzman and Grace Mosher, pinch running for Derleth, scored on the hit.
Madisn Garcia dropped a fly ball into shallow right field to bring in Ortiz who hustled home from second base for the final run of the opening inning.
The Seahawks went through their order in the bottom of the second, scored four more runs, and took complete command.
Russ again started the rally, dropping a double down the left-field line, and later scored on a wild pitch. Long lined a single to left field before Salzman and Derleth again drew consecutive walks, then Bustamonte hit a sacrifice grounder back to the mound which scored Long.
Salzman scored on an infield error and Mosher, running for Derleth, scored when Santa Ana first baseman Nicole Sanchez pulled her foot on a play at first base to make it 8-0.
Ocean View scored its final run in the bottom of the sixth. Derleth doubled off the fence in left field, took third on a throwing error on the play, and tagged and scored on Bustamonte's sacrifice fly to left field.
"I thought we were very productive today," McLaughlan said. "We had that hot start but then couldn't get anything going after the second inning. We lost our shortstop (Russ) in the second inning, but she should be OK."
McLaughlan said that Russ bruised her thigh on a slide at third base in the bottom of the second.
Russ didn't play the remainder of the game. McLaughlan said the junior should be ready for Ocean View's next game, a key league contest at home April 11 against Loara.
In its last four games, Ocean View has outscored its opponents, 37-3.
"We've been playing very well this past week, and we have a tough one coming up against Loara," McLaughlan said. "We will need to play one of our best games against Loara, if we hope to come away with a win."
In Golden West League baseball action Friday, Ocean View fell behind early at Segerstrom but came back to score a 5-2 victory over the Jaguars. Bobby Evans and Dustin Fisher hit home runs, Gabe Ledezma, Ben Myers and Brian Scholsser all doubled, and sophomore Braydon Salzman (2-1) threw a four-hitter in a complete-game performance, as the Seahawks won their second league game this week to improve to 2-1 in league play.